25 Drop C Songs (2023) With Tabs and Lessons

Anyone messing around with playing heavy will have a few Drop C songs in their repertoire – and for good reason!

Alternate tunings can be a great way to explore new ground on the guitar.

It’s one of the most popular tunings for any rock or metal band.

It strikes a perfect balance between being easy to play as you only need to bar a single fret to play a power chord.

The low strings can give you that thick, chunky rhythm sound that’s great with distortion, while the upper strings are tuned high enough to facilitate fast lead guitar playing.

So today we’ve prepared a list of 25 Drop C songs, including lessons and tabs, so you can have fun exploring this tuning!

25 Drop C tuning songs for Electric & Acoustic GuitarWatch this video on YouTube

by System Of A DownHearts Burst Into Fire by Bullet For My ValentineMy Curse by Killswitch EngageBlew by NirvanaChange (In The House Of Flies) by DeftonesIt Never Ends by Bring Me The HorizonOblivion by MastodonFrantic by MetallicaAll Laid Back and Stuff by Andy McKeeMarigold by PeripheryTears Don’t Fall by Bullet For My ValentineNeon by John MayerStricken by DisturbedIsolation by Alter BridgeYour Guardian Angel by The Red Jumpsuit ApparatusFeed The Machine by Nickelback Bad Horsie by Steve VaiI Stand Alone by GodsmackI Don’t Wanna Stop – Ozzy OsbourneL’Enfant Sauvage by GojiraRain – Breaking BenjaminSuffocating Under Words of Sorrow by Bullet For My ValentineRoulette by System Of A DownInside The Fire by DisturbedAnimal I Have Become by Three Days Grace

Chop Suey System Of A Down Guitar Lesson + TutorialWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Chop Suey!

The band have a very dedicated fanbase who still hold hope that they will someday release a new album.

Chop Suey is System’s biggest selling single which went platinum in the UK, making it one of the most famous drop c songs.

The main riff can be played with just 2 fingers by barring power chords, but it is played quite fast to try to ensure you’re on time with the song.

| Jimmy’s Guitar Gym | #RiffsNBitsWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Hearts Burst Into Fire by Bullet For My Valentine

Back in the early ’20s, they released a self-titled EP that caught the interest of major record labels with songs like ‘Hand of Blood’ and ‘Cries in Vain’.

Hearts Burst Into Fire is definitely a more melodic effort, but is nevertheless one of their more popular singles sitting at almost 35 million views on youtube.

It’s a catchy song that’ll have you down picking and galloping some pretty fast power chords, but there are also plenty of great melodies to keep you busy.

killswitch engage guitar lessonWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for My Curse by Killswitch Engage

Killswitch Engage are one of the main reasons why Drop C became such a popular tuning.

They inspired many young guitarists to pick up the guitar so they can play their catchy riffs and leads.

Which struck a balance between heavy and melodic music, not shying away from using catchy choruses, even in heavy songs.

My Curse will have you playing heavy bluesy riffs using that flat 5th and some passing tones to which give it that iconic Killswitch flair.

It’s very comfortable in the hands and a ton of fun to play.

Nirvana – Blew – Grunge Guitar Lesson (w/Tabs)Watch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Blew by Nirvana

Nirvana played a large part in pioneering the dirty, raw sound of grunge and the alternative rock movement of the late ’80s.

By their second album ‘Nevermind’ they achieved massive commercial success, due in no small part to their single ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.

The song itself makes great use of the drop tuning as it uses mainly power chords which you can just bar over your lowest three strings.

It also makes good use of the blue note and some interesting ‘micro-bends’ where you will have to pull your whole hand down so all 3 of the lowest strings go sharp simultaneously.

A fun one that should be on any grunge fan’s list of drop c tuning songs.

Guitar Lesson: How To Play Change (In The House Of Flies) By DeftonesWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Change (In The House Of Flies) by Deftones

One of the all time great American alternative metal bands who rose to prominence in 2000 with the release of their third album ‘White Pony’.

Deftones are well known for tuning low, with guitarist Stephen Carpenter having a line of extended range 7 and 8 string signature model guitars.

Change makes good use of the lower C tuning as it plays into the darker mood of the song.

It allows them to easily reach that minor third on the upper octave (also called a chord inversion) which sounds huge, emotive, and sits in singer Chino Moreno’s vocal range perfectly.

Bring Me The Horizon It Never Ends Guitar Lesson With TabsWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for It Never Ends by Bring Me The Horizon

When Bring Me The Horizon first came onto the scene in 2006 with their ultra-aggressive first album ‘count your blessings’, no one could have guessed that the band would morph their sound quite so much over the following decade.

This new, more melodic sound would garner them huge commercial success with their 2013 album Sempiternal going gold in Australia.

The song uses a lot of octave harmonies between the two guitars akin to bands such as Soilwork.

There are also a lot of single-note open lines which guitarist Lee Malia has described as sounding more ‘huge’ than the traditional power chord.

How to play MASTODON OBLIVION | Rapid Riff Summary CoverWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Oblivion by Mastodon

Mastodon released their first album ‘Remission’ back in 2002.

The album got a 5/5 from total guitar and won Best International Metal Album at the Danish Music Awards.

Oblivion is the second single from Crack the Skye which also has a supporting music video.

The song uses some great melodic dissonance and atonal chord shapes which flirts in and out of more traditional diatonic harmony, giving it this otherworldly feel to the song.

This is a fantastic Drop C song to learn and will also help you expand your chordal vocabulary and have you playing a lot of ‘out of the box’ ideas.

Metallica Frantic guitar lessonWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Frantic by Metallica

But if you can look past that, St. Anger has a lot of great riffs and songs which are a lot of fun to jam on the guitar.

In particular the second single from the album ‘Frantic’ which talks about the band’s struggles with addiction, in particular singer James’s alcoholism.

The song is a lot of fun to play and will have you riffing out much higher up the fretboard than you normally would.

Don’t worry if your guitar isn’t intonated perfectly and sounds a little out of tune playing your low C string that high up the fretboard, it also sounds that way on the album!

How To Play All Laid Back And Stuff By Andy Mckee (guitar lesson / tutorial) Part 1Watch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for All Laid Back and Stuff by Andy McKee

Andy is well known for marrying technical, fingerstyle, and percussive slap playing with fantastic melody and songwriting skills.

In 2005 when he released his 3rd album ‘Art of Motion’ on Candyrat records, a playthrough video for the song ‘Drifting’ went viral on youtube which exposed a wider audience to Andy’s playing.

This song has a lot of interesting things going on musically.

You’ll be playing the bass notes primarily with your thumb while your fingers pick and slide around the melody on the higher strings.

You’ll also be using your palms to hit the strings and body of the guitar to emulate the sound of a kick and snare drum.

One thing to note is while the song is technically in a Drop C tuning you will need to raise up your fourth string 1 semitone to G (making CGDGAD).

How to play Marigold by PeripheryWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Marigold by Periphery

Periphery started as the musical project of guitarist and songwriter Misha Mansoor, who garnered some notoriety when he would post his home recorded music on the (at the time) popular website Soundclick.

One of the unique things about Marigold is it has a repeating melody or motif that normally you would move with the chord changes in key.

But in this song, they use modulations (a fancy word for changing key) so the motif position shifts along with the root note changes which creates a very dramatic effect.

Definitely one of the more tricky drop c songs on this list.

Bullet for My Valentine – Tears Don’t Fall Guitar GuideWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Tears Don’t Fall by Bullet For My Valentine

Regarded as one of their best songs by fans, Tears Don’t Fall was the fourth single from their debut album ‘The Poison.

It also had a successful music video to accompany the single which is currently sitting at a whopping 194 million views on YouTube.

The song itself is not too complicated to play, there are a lot of huge barred power chords which the Drop C tuning makes very comfortable and convenient to play.

Neon Guitar Tutorial John Mayer Guitar Lesson Live In LA FULL LESSONWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Neon by John Mayer

Neon is from John’s debut album and was written in collaboration with Zac Brown Band guitarist and songwriter, Clay Cook.

It’s a quite busy song where you will be combining traditional fingerstyle playing with percussive elements.

Much like Andy Mckee, it’s in a Drop C tuning but you will need to raise your fourth string a semitone to G.

How To Play “Stricken” By Disturbed (Full Song Tutorial With TAB!)Watch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Stricken by Disturbed

You don’t need to be a metal fan to enjoy Disturbed.

With their catchy guitar riffs and anthemic choruses, Disturbed packaged metal in a way that was accessible to everyone.

And this is reflected in their commercial success, boasting 17 million albums sold worldwide, making them one of the most successful metal bands of all time.

In this song, guitarist Dan Donegan makes great use of the Drop C tuning with extensive use of the barred power chords as well as some heavy chugging on that low C during the verse.

There’s also a nice bit of classic pentatonic shred soloing on the top strings, where still having your top strings tuned fairly high to A and D will make this easier to play.

Alter Bridge – Isolation (Guitar lesson – cover) / Diogo SeijinhoWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Isolation by Alter Bridge

Although Creed was an extremely popular band, Alter Bridge has been able to carve out their own following thanks to the vocal talents of singer Mylers and the guitar virtuosity of Mark.

Isolation is the first single from their third studio album titled AB III which was met with positive critical reception.

Also making heavy use of the convenience Drop C offers by putting the 3rd of the chord on the higher octave, normally this would require an extreme stretch to hold but this tuning makes it a breeze.

Plus some huge 5 string open and bar chords on the chorus.

How to Play “Your Guardian Angel” by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus on GuitarWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Your Guardian Angel by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Formed in 2003 and have released 5 studio albums to date.

Your Guardian Angel has two different versions, the main single release and an all-acoustic version which can be found on their demo album.

The main release has a long period of silence at the end that, if you don’t skip, has a secret hidden track called ‘The Grim Goodbye’.

This song primarily sticks to strumming 3 note power chords, but they do get quite playful on where the 3rd note sits and use it to lead into the next chord change.

This makes it ideal for beginners or anyone who wants to get used to singing and playing guitar at the same time, as it’s not very taxing on the musical brain allowing you to focus on singing.

How to Play Feed the Machine by NickelbackWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Feed The Machine by Nickelback 

There’s no denying that Nickelback is one of the most successful rock bands of our time, producing multiple top selling and chart-topping hits.

Over their 9 album career, they have flirted with all manner of genres from alternative rock to pop.

Yet fans were still quite shocked with their single ‘Feed The Machine’ which is probably their heaviest song to date.

The song makes use of ultra high-gain guitars, chunky rock riffs, and some tasty ambient leads on the verse.

Everything is quite comfortable and convenient to play in the hands thanks to the Drop C tuning.

There’s also some cool use of hammer-ons and pull-offs on the main riff as well.

Bad Horsie STEVE VAI : Guitar Tab + LessonWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Bad Horsie by Steve Vai

Steve Vai is one of the most innovative and influential guitarists ever, we have him to thank for numerous creative and technical advances in the world of guitar.

The main riff of this song was based on the same riff Steve played at the end of the 1986 film ‘Crossroads’.

He uses a slide quite a lot on this song but don’t fret if you don’t own one, it’s just as playable without the slide!

Godsmack – I Stand Alone |Guitar cover| |Screen Tabs| |Lesson| |Drop C|Watch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for I Stand Alone by Godsmack

I stand alone was, for many people, their first exposure to Godsmack as it was famously used in the soundtrack to the hit Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) movie ‘The Scorpion King’ of which the official music video sits at 179 million views on youtube.

The song makes heavy use of that low C, always falling back to it at all stages of the song.

So you can crank your gain up and enjoy the heavy, low-tuned chords.

The main riff will also have you playing the 19th and 20th frets of your low C, so try to keep those notes in tune as it’s very easy to pull them sharp!

I Don’t Wanna Stop-Ozzy Osbourne GUITAR TUTORIALWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for I Don’t Wanna Stop – Ozzy Osbourne

‘I Don’t Wanna Stop’ is the first single from Ozzy’s 10th studio album and took the number 1 spot on the US Mainstream Rock billboard.

The main riffs of the song are very easy to play and have a groovy, bluesy, and catchy quality to them.

How To Play “L’Enfant Sauvage” By Gojira (Full Song Tutorial With TAB!)Watch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for L’Enfant Sauvage by Gojira

One of the most beloved heavy metal bands hailing from Ondres, France.

Gojira have consistently put out stellar metal albums that put a huge focus on interesting rhythms.

L’enfant Sauvage (from the album L’Enfant Sauvage) seldom leaves that low C note, with almost all of the musical interest coming not from pitch, but rhythm.

It also uses the signature Gojira ‘rake’ where you will strike down all the strings while your left mutes them to create an aggressive and percussive sound.

How To Play – Rain by Breaking Benjamin Guitar LessonWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Rain – Breaking Benjamin

Despite quite a few lineup changes, the lead singer and primary songwriter has been there since the band’s inception and has led them through 6 albums of heavy, crunchy guitar riffs, and angst-filled anthemic choruses.

The band has garnered a dedicated fanbase and has been able to sell 7 million albums worldwide.

The drop C tuning gives it a warmer and more mellow feel.

There are lots of large and open sounding chords along with some unique and interesting chord voicings.

So if you have an acoustic guitar that you can tune this low, this is an ideal song to learn.

How To Play “Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow” By Bullet For My Valentine (Full Tutorial With TAB!)Watch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow by Bullet For My Valentine

Another single from the Welsh rockers debut album and a fan favorite.

The song gathered a fair bit of success in the UK considering it was their first full length release.

Although this song is tuned to Drop C it primarily rides on the open note of the G string.

The riffs in this song are fairly typical for the style, they are a lot of fun to play and easily accessible for beginners.

There’s also a lot of twin harmonies used in the song, so if you have a friend who also plays guitar this is a great song to learn together.

How to play Roulette by System Of A Down on guitar by Mike Gross – TutorialWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Roulette by System Of A Down

Following up their massive hit album Toxicity is no small feat.

Roulette is essentially the ballad of the album and can be played on any acoustic (or electric with a clean tone) that you have in Drop C.

There are some interesting chord and note choices in this song making it great for beginners as it’s not too demanding from a technical point of view, but still provides a lot of musical intrigue to help expand your own vocabulary on the instrument.

How to play ‘Inside The Fire’ by Disturbed Guitar Solo Lesson w/tabsWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Inside The Fire by Disturbed

A popular single from Disturbed’s fourth album titled ‘Indestructible’.

The song tackles the subject of suicide, and the official video which is sitting at nearly 43 million views has numerous disclaimers and contact numbers urging viewers struggling with these issues to call them.

The song spends a lot of time up at the 7th fret, but the riffs are made easier to play by the drop C tuning.

There’s nothing too technical in the song so you’re free to just rock out.

There’s also a great pedal point lick that introduces the solo which will test your alternate picking ability.

As well as a cool phrygian/diminished single note melody that follows the solo.

How to Play “Animal I Have Become” by Three Days GraceWatch this video on YouTube

Click Here for Tab for Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace

Another great band whose success coincided with the early 2000’s rise of nu metal.

They have released 6 studio albums of which the first 2 went multi-platinum.

Animal I Have Become is the first single from their second studio release, it held the number 1 spot on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks for two weeks and sold over 2 million copies in the US alone.

This song rides off of the lower C power chord while using some interesting note choices in the main riff.

The majority of the song is rhythmic power chords which is made much more convenient to play because of the drop tuning.

This is a great song for any beginner to learn as it’s catchy and not too demanding from a technical perspective.

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